We entered 2014 predicting that consumer priorities will be changing globally and will impact the way we approach our product design, our product strategy and how we market our products and it did exactly that!
2015 will continue to reinforce these beliefs and globally there is a unified shift to promote health, education, individual empowerment and social responsibility. We will also see a significant shift on the reliance of mainstream products to drive forces. 2015 will be about being Authentic.
Consumer values have shifted almost rebelliously to reject anything mainstream or established corporate design. Our consumers are opting for new exciting product offerings no longer wanting to rely on or even trusting the established brands. The importance of good, quality, real and honest products is becoming more relevant and is setting a trend that will challenge the big gun’s thinking in days to come!
Warm inviting graphics that look friendly and homemade. Packaging that gives people a warm fuzzy feeling of all natural or eco-friendly and disposable. Homemade, specially crafted, good old days vintage quality which was uncomplicated and wholesome in appearance is the driving force behind consumers looking to different offerings and feeling the sense of trust and a connectedness with the product. Consumers are responding to brands that has a personal touch to them, speak to them in their own language. In South Africa we have such diverse cultures that it makes it exiting in the sense that the offerings entering the market are aimed at specific needs and we have created a new culture and that is to explore all these new refreshing offerings. We are seeing artisan brands, neighbour goods markets, food festivals, crafted beers and all sorts of delicacies and luxury beautification products popping up left right and center. Looking for alternatives is becoming a BIG DEAL!
Why? for the simple reason of the consumer feeling connected to the language of authenticity and the trust of the products they consume. There is an expectation of more, deserving more, for our consumers it has become an experience, a connection that involves all 5 senses to the quality, the skill that went into the product and the design thereof.
Evoking an emotional response, is the key objective of this trend. The designs style includes sketched or handwritten typography, hand drawn illustrations or labels, tones of natural colours and hints of nature, anything that incorporates old style vintage cues, natural papers and boards or containers that can be recycled.
In today’s crowded markets we are faced with huge obstacles and one of them is the issue of overcrowded shelves. The question is how do you apply design to help your brand stand out from the crowd. By being BOLD, innovative and pushing boundaries, even breaking the structured boundaries, to push the brand into the next generation. Challenge the norm, challenge approach, explore the ideas and back them up. Playing it save has its advantages up to a point after that it just gets boring and your brand will start loosing traction as there are more exciting things happening around your brand that is diverting your consumers elsewhere. Well established brands use good old familiar to reinforce their heritage but even the most established brands needs to move with the times to compete effectively and stay alive. Consumer priorities and expectations are changing and new bolder offerings are entering the market every day, to stay at the top, you have to bold! Explore the trigger points of form and function, look at the trends in new smart packaging even talking packaging…
This has become a hot topic and consumers want to know where their goods are coming from. For the established brands and the new brands it is key to ensure that what you put into your product should tick the following boxes, Is it ethically sourced, is it recognisable, is it natural and is it real! What you put into your product is just as important as the association with your source. Your brand reputation is in the hands of what you put into it, it is really that simple. Health has become a huge trend in itself and consumers are educated enough to know exactly what they want, who they want to support and most importantly knowing and trusting that your brand is delivering not only on the claims you make on your products but also supporting their values and humanity.
We have heard it a million times but “less is more”, it is still as good as gold. We live in a world where we are bombarded with information and variables, bringing some quiet to the storm is what we all need! This trend has been with us for ages and has come and gone and thankfully is back again! The benefit of simplicity is twofold:
- You get to the core of your product, stripping it down and showcasing only what is important, reducing rather than adding, that should be the motto going forward.
- Well thought out simplicity is the essence of absolute luxury and class. Keep it simple, keep it elegant and class will come as the added bonus. This especially applies to luxury products. The combination of global economies, alongside the break from following the mainstream established brands have changed the climate for luxury goods dramatically. We are seeing new and original brands entering the market riding the wave of exclusivity. Over-designed, loud trends are gone and hopefully will stay gone! It’s about subtle cues that exude class, rather than screaming it from the rooftops. It’s the understated but I am an exclusive brand that will survive this climate, where the brand experience and the product value is equally important adding to the authenticity of the consumer.
The impact all this has on mother earth and the change we need to implement for a sustainable planet. Brands that look for alternative, environmentally friendly options will promote not only their brand in the right direction but will also encourage the consumer to do the right thing. Greener trends are becoming a priority as we have seen the development of dissolvable packaging plus bio plastic introductions into the market to boost sustainability, eco friendly ink and printing processes that are enhancing the green trend. Watch this space!
Huge growth in the department of functional and fortified foods trends. Our consumers with high paced life’s are looking for products that can pack a punch of maximum nutrition in one go. We see nutritional snack bars, yoghurts for digestive health, cholesterol lowering juices, butter and cereals plus anything high in protein, fortified cereals and the list can go on. But we are seeing the consumer challenging and introducing a newer shift to match the trend of functional fortified to one that is more naturally healthy. The focus will be on going back to the roots, products that use natural ingredients, ingredients that are real and are perceived to have natural benefits, the use of less harmful substances and ethical sourcing of products and ingredients in the manufacturing of products. The more informed health conscious consumer demands alternatives and healthier sustainable offerings and what better way to reinforce the health benefit of your product whether food, beauty, medicinal or beverage by choosing naturally healthy ingredients.